Sunday, October 12, 2008
ACROSTIC, Puzzle by Emily Cox & Henry Rathvon
Today’s puzzle commemorates Columbus’ Day with a quotation from The Life and Voyages of Christopher Columbus by Washington Irving -- following is the full quotation:
With all the visionary fervor of his imagination, its fondest dreams fell short of the reality. He died in ignorance of the real grandeur of his discovery. Until his last breath he entertained the idea that he had merely opened a new way to the old resorts of opulent commerce, and had discovered some of the wild regions of the East. He supposed Hispaniola to be the ancient Ophir which had been visited by the ships of Solomon, and that Cuba and Terra Firma were but remote parts of Asia. What visions of glory would have broken upon his mind could he have known that he had indeed discovered a new continent, equal to the whole of the old world in magnitude, and separated by two vast oceans from all the earth hitherto known by civilized man! And how would his magnanimous spirit have been consoled, amidst the afflictions of age and the cares of penury, the neglect of a fickle public, and the injustice of an ungrateful king, could he have anticipated the splendid empires which were to spread over the beautiful world he had discovered; and the nations, and tongues, and languages which were to fill its lands with his renown, and revere and bless his name to the latest posterity!
The quotation as paraphrased for the acrostic: HE DIED IN IGNORANCE OF THE REAL GRANDEUR OF HIS DISCOVERY UNTIL HIS LAST BREATH HE ENTERTAINED THE IDEA THAT HE HAD DISCOVERED WILD REGIONS OF THE EAST HE SUPPOSED CUBA AND TERRA FIRMA WERE BUT REMOTE PARTS OF ASIA.
The author’s name and the title of the work: WASHINGTON IRVING COLUMBUS
The defined words: WHITTLE (A. Pass the time as Queequeg did); ASTER (B. Flower name used after beach, bog or sea); SHIPSHAPE (C. Trim, tidy); HALFHITCH (D. Something any good sailor can tie [2 wds.]); ICHABOD (E. Man’s name meaning “without honor” in Hebrew); NOREASTER (F. What a New England mariner might fear); GOODHOPE (Cape named by John II or Portugal [2 wds.]); THREE (H. Crew complement for a randan); OARSMEN (I. Propellers on a trireme); NEREID (J. Nymph in the realm of Poseidon); INDIES (K. Island group of the West named in geographical confusion); RUDDER (L. Controlling agent or guide); M. Bureau VERITAS, international ship certification agency from the Latin for “truth”; ICESHELF (N. Impediment to a coastal docking [2 wds.]); NAVIGATION (O. Forte of Prince Henry [1394-1460]); GREED (P. Likely motive for some New World exploration); CHANTEY (Q. Sailor’s song); OUTBOARD (R. On the exterior of a hull); LIFERAFT (S. Refuge after capsizing [2 wds.]); UNDERWATER (T. Of an aquanaut’s milieu); MASTHEAD (U. Spot near a crow’s-nest); BEAUFORT (V. Eponym of a wind-strength scale); UNTIED (W. No longer having a mooring); SEASIDE (X. Typical locale for a summer resort).
This acrostic is a nautical kaleidoscope of seaworthy references -- a pure delight and a perfect puzzle for Columbus Day!
1st Illustration: A posthumous portrait of "Christopher Columbus " (1519) by Italian Renaissance painter Sebastiano Del Piombo, in Rome at Palazzo Venezia.
2nd Illustration depicts the fleet of Italian explorer Christopher Columbus (the Nina, Pinta and Santa Maria) departing from Spain on August 3, 1492.
For a few Columbus Day cartoons, go to The Crossword Puzzle Illustrated.
Click on image to enlarge.
Puzzle available on the internet at
THE NEW YORK TIMES -- Crossword Puzzles and Games
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